Women's Soccer Travels to Marshall and East Carolina for Pivotal C-USA Matches
Oct. 21, 2009
Memphis, Tenn. -
The University of Memphis women’s soccer team will hit the road for two crucial C-USA matches against Marshall and East Carolina this weekend. The Lady Tigers will face Marshall at 6 pm on Friday and East Carolina at 12 pm Sunday.
“This weekend is huge in the big picture of things,” head coach Brooks Monaghan said. “NCAA Tournament and C-USA Tournament implications are on the line this weekend. We have to take one game at a time and hopefully we can walk away successful in both of the games this weekend.”
The Lady Tigers enter Friday’s match-up with Marshall with an 11-5-0 record and a 6-2-0 record in C-USA play. Memphis is riding a two-game winning streak after posting two shutouts against SMU and Tulsa last weekend.
Junior forward Ashley Berra netted her C-USA leading 11th goal of the season on a midfield assist by Lizzy Simonin in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Tulsa. The Cordova, Tenn. native, tallied two assists in Memphis’ 2-0 victory over SMU Friday night. Her first assist came off a corner kick that was converted for a goal by Amanda Olszewski. She then played another corner kick later in the match that resulted in a goal by Kelsey Bakker. Berra and senior midfielder Tori Dalton were credited with the assists on Bakker’s goal.
Sophomore goalkeeper Elise Kuhar-Pitters posted her ninth shutout of the season on Sunday against Tulsa and moved into a tie with former Lady Tiger goalkeeper Isabel Briones for the second-most shutouts in a single season. Kuhar-Pitters has recorded six shutouts in eight C-USA matches this season. The Spokane, Wash. native, leads C-USA with nine shutouts and a 0.73 goals-against average which ranks 44th nationally.
The Marshall University Thundering Herd enter Friday’s tilt with Memphis with a record of 11-5-0 (4-4-0, C-USA). Marshall has lost three straight matches and been outscored in those matches 12-2. Marshall goalkeeper Liz Horton is second in C-USA with eight shutouts this season. Horton has posted two shutouts in C-USA play against Rice and SMU.
“I think for Marshall it is a key game,” Monaghan said. “They are trying to get into the C-USA Tournament and they have improved a lot over time. They are physical, hard-working team and seem to be very good at home. It is going to be a tough test for us and we have to match them physically. We can’t overlook them because of past results. We have to focus on ourselves.”
Memphis holds a 4-0 series lead against Marshall. The Lady Tigers have outscored Marshall 17-2 in the four meetings and Memphis posted a 4-0 victory last season.
East Carolina (8-6-2, 3-5-0 C-USA) will face UAB Friday night before playing host to the Lady Tigers. The Pirates are riding a three game losing streak entering Friday and have been shutout in their last two matches.
“East Carolina is still a good team,” Monaghan said. “They lost a lot of key players and everybody goes through that. I know the coach very well and he does a great job of getting the best out of his teams. They are scrambling to make the C-USA Tournament. It is no secret that they know they have to battle for the C-USA Tournament and I expect them to be flying around on Sunday.”
Memphis carries a 6-0-2 series lead into Sunday’s matchup and will play East Carolina at Bunting Field for the third consecutive season. Last year, East Carolina and Memphis played to a 3-3 draw and ended the season as co-champions of C-USA. Memphis has never beaten East Carolina by more than one goal at Bunting Field as each game has resulted in a one goal win or a draw.
“We are tired of playing there to tell you the truth, but me and (Coach) Rob (Donnenwirth) joke about that all the time,” Monaghan said. “It is a tough environment to play in since it is a smaller field. Two teams have to show up and play on the field at once and it is definitely tough to win there. I don’t think we have dropped a game there and hopefully we can continue that.”
Memphis Tiger All-Access interviewed freshmen Taylor Isenhower, Bailey Pembroke and Averi Hallman this week. To view that interview click here. Volunteer Assistant Coach Amy Morrison was also interviewed and that interview can be seen by clicking here.
The Lady Tigers will return to the Mike Rose Soccer Complex for the final game of the regular season on Oct. 29th at 7 pm against UAB. The C-USA Tournament begins on November 4th at Westcott Field on the campus of SMU. The top six teams after games on Oct. 30th will travel to SMU for the C-USA Tournament.